Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Me and muffins.

Muffins are not my favorite baked treat, but sometimes they just seem like the right thing. Plus, if I make them with very little sugar and lots of fruit, I can call them a healthier alternative to dessert. They still satisfy my sweet tooth, but pack a lot more nutrition than say, a slab of chocolate cake. I usually start with a basic muffin recipe and change up the fillers to fit my mood. In this case, I had little bowls of odds and ends of fruits and such hanging out in my fridge. Rhubarb (surprise, still some left!), strawberries and cranberries seemed like a winning combination, so I gave it a whirl. Then I threw in some walnuts just for fun.

Here is the basic muffin recipe that I generally turn to:

2 cups flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 t salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 t vanilla
1/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1 cup mixed fruit and/or nuts

-mix dry ingredients together in large bowl
-make a well in the center of the dry mix
-in separate bowl, beat egg, milk, vanilla and yogurt
-pour wet mixture into well
-mix with fork just until all dry is combined
*the key to fluffy muffins is not to overmix the batter-you should still have a few lumps
-stir in fruit, nuts etc.
-bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, until lightly brown and firm on top

This is on the low end of the sugar amount. If you'd like, you can up that amount by 1/4 cup or so if you like your muffins a little sweeter. I like using yogurt, but you could also use 1/4 cup of vegetable oil or soft butter if you prefer. I like recipes with options.
These muffins make a great breakfast treat, midday pick-me-up or a yummy bedtime snack.

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